Sound — 9
The fourth studio record from the claimed boyband One Direction arrived the past year. Though I'm not a fan, I've found so much quality in this than their first and second albums on all that catchy bubblegum trash pop. We can find more involvement from the guys on writing their own lyrics and playing their instruments for their songs. You wouldn't expect to hear all this sounds from a boyband, give it a try. Don't be skeptical only for the fact they've been made up just to create money, they're all talented and very good singers. You'll find in "Four" more mature sound and lyrics.
Lyrics — 8
1. "Steal My Girl" - Seeing as this one was the first single off of the album, you already know everything there is to know about it. An already iconic piano opener followed by sultry vocals the obligatory "na na na" bit and glorious Zayn Malik high notes scattered throughout. Oh, and it's about other peeps keeping their hands off off the boys' girls/fans. YES IT'S ABOUT YOU.
Best line: "Her mum calls me love, her dad calls me son, alright." Closely followed by Niall's "I knooooow, I know, I knooooow for sure."
Factually incorrect line: "Couple billion in the whole wide world, find another one 'cause she belongs to me." There are actually 7.1 billion people on the planet.
2. "Ready to Run" - A bit "Story of My Life" esque, some nice guitar work explodes into a massive chorus full of "woah-oh's" that'll make your heart expand with joy.
Best line: "Wherever you are is the place I belong." Pretty much how we feel about the boys to be honest.
Worst line: "Without you I'll never make it out alive." (Because we don't like to think about them dying. Even if it is a metaphor).
3. "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" - A big boomy dramatic beat morphs effortlessly into a sort of '80s anthem vibe with a modern twist and we can already see this one being a concert fave. What's it about? Breaking hearts, mending hearts, not letting the one you love slip through your fingers. Sob.
Best line: "It took me some time but I figured it out, how to fix up a heart that I let down."
Most demanding lines: There's a whole lot of questions this mysterious girl needs to answer. "Are you sleeping baby by yourself, or are you giving it to someone else?" / "Tell me where you're hiding out" / "Where do broken hearts go?" etc.
4. "18" - From the very first notes it's obvious this one was written by Ed Sheeran and Passenger. The gentle guitar melody gives off an instant "Eddie" feel and the hauntingly stripped back vocals are like melted chocolate caressing your soul. GAHD WE'RE POETIC. It's all about teenage sweethearts and not only will you fall in love with the chorus the first time you hear it, but the gorge Louis solo at the end will make this one the Little Things of its generation. Think phone lights galore and sobbing fans a'plenty at concerts.
Best line: "I have loved you since we were 18." WE HAVE LOVED THEM SINCE THEY WERE 18 (AND BEFORE THAT).
5. "Girl Almighty": A feel good track with a catchy "ooh-ooh" hook, some fast "hey-hey's" and some funky guitar action. It's addictive, we love it, it's one of our faves already. AGH.
Best line: "Let's have another toast to the girl almightaaaaay."
Raunchiest line: "I get down on my knees for you." Oo-err, we bet you do. Ahem.
6. "Fools Gold" - This one has a bit of a nostalgic feel too it, with stunning folksy vocals that remind you for the umpteenth time that these guys can REALLY SING. It's romantic, melancholic, and filled us with a sort of happy/sad feeling, if that makes any sense at all.
Best line: "I get lost in your beauty and I can't see two feet in front of me." CAN THEY SING THIS TO US PLEASE.
Saddest line: "And yeah I let you use me from the day that we first met, but I'm not done yet." / "Yeah I know your love's not real but that's not the way it feels."
7. "Night Changes": Essentially this one's about a girl going off to meet a guy for a date, but underneath it all there's a well emotional tale of growing up, a loss of innocence and generally doing that thing where you're becoming an adult and sort of go along with it despite all the uncertainty. It's sweet.
Best line: "Going out tonight, changes into something red/Her mother doesn't like that kinda dress. Reminds of her of the missing piece of innocence she lost..."
Worst line: The "oooh" bits before Zayn's middle eight. Just because HURRY UP ZAYN'S MIDDLE EIGHT.
8. "No Control" - "No Control" is basically the tale of THE MORNING AFTER. A few somethin'-somethin' and Diet Coke-ys (and the horizontal Hokey Cokey) were probably involved and this is the lads basically debriefing us on their antics. MASSIVE stadium stormer, this one.
Best line: "Waking up beside you I'm a loaded gun/I can't contain this anymore, I'm all yours..."
Bit gross line: "Taste on my tongue, I don't wanna wash away the night before..." An advert for brushing your teeth if ever there was one, tbh.
9. "Fireproof" - Do I even have to mention it? Quite boring and cheesy, totally coming from a boy band. NEXT.
10. "Spaces" - From what our ears are tellling us, "Spaces" is basically about a really shitty break up that's been a long time coming, which is quite sad unless it's about Haylor or Hendall.
Best line: "The spaces between us / hold all our secrets / leaving us speechless / and I don't know why."
Most rebellious line: "Who's going to be the first one to compromise? / Who's going to be the first one to set it all on fire?" - Oi One Direction, getting dumped is no excuse to chuck the other person's belongings on the bonfire, yeah?
11. "Stockholm Syndrome" -This song appears to be all about being held hostage, which is sort of creepy but also of reminds us of being a One Direction fan - i.e. realising the band is taking over your life, but still wanting more and more and more. We also still have a theory it's a direct reference to that time Harry woke up blind and thought the world had ended, only to realise it was just that his long locks had escaped the confines of the headrag and were obscuring his vision. Harrowing.
Best line: "Baby look what you've done to me / you've got me tied down" - Who's been reading the smutty fics now, you filthy lot.
Creepiest line: "Who's that shadow keeping me hostage, I've been here for days."
12. "Clouds" -Think a break-up banger of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" proportions. It's the musical equivalent of the nail painting emoji and simply says "oi – you're gonna miss me a lot, y'know?"
Best line: "Someday you're gonna see the things that I see, you're gonna want the air that I breathe/You're gonna wish you never left me..." Louis at his sassiest.
Worst line: Honestly? None of 'em. It's sassy af and that's how we like it.
Overall Impression — 8
It obviously can be compared to The 1975, Ed Sheeran, etc. And you know why? Easy, THE HELPED WRITING.
Most Impressive 3 songs:
- "Girl Almighty"
Plus, Honorable mention: "Change Your Ticket" (from Deluxe Version)
Most non impressive 3 songs:
- "Fireproof" (like, seriously. You can do better than that, guys.)
- "Steal My Girl" (catchy but not one of the very best)
- "Night Changes" (slow, touching, and I'm in love with that key change. But something's missing in this song.)
Totally worth buying. Don't get stuck in just a music genre! Get your head out of the rocks! Give it a chance and you won't regret listening.